Ludwigsburg / Germany

Green wave for rescue services: fast and protected travel across intersections with C-ITS/V2X.

In an emergency, every second counts: firefighters and other rescue teams have to reach their place of work as quickly as possible. After a successful pilot project in early 2019, the city of Ludwigsburg together with SWARCO has now successfully introduced the prioritization of all fire engines at traffic lights in the city area. Thanks to V2X communication (V2X = Vehicle to Everything), since the beginning of 2020 the city's fire engines have been communicating directly with the traffic lights throughout the city, using standardized short-range radio to provide free and safe travel on the way to the place of emergency.

The V2X equipment was installed as part of a major project in which the city's entire traffic technology, including traffic lights and traffic management, was renewed, expanded and modernized. Overall, Ludwigsburg thus set the basis for intelligent traffic lights and digital traffic control technology to make traffic flow more smoothly, reduce emissions and prepare for the mobility of the future.

All fire engines in Ludwigsburg are now equipped with transmitters. The 114 traffic lights in the city area have been equipped with the necessary antennas to receive the encrypted radio signals of the fire brigade.

Every second, the emergency vehicles send their position and speed directly to the traffic light controller. There, the signals are processed and compared with the scenarios stored in the programming. If the system detects an approaching emergency vehicle, the programmed signal sequence is started: The traffic light controller switches to the prioritization program. Once the firefighters have passed the intersection, the traffic light controller switches back to normal as quickly as possible to minimize traffic disturbance. As a result, the “green wave” for the firefighters is established fully autonomously.

For many years SWARCO has been driving the roll-out of intelligent transport infrastructure for connected, cooperative and automated driving. The fire department prioritization is a first practical application of the underlying V2X technology.

SWARCO is partner of the innovation network Living LaB, in which the city as well as partners from business, industry and research institutions work together in a unique cooperative manner. Innovative technologies can be tested and developed under real conditions. This benefits the city of Ludwigsburg, its citizens and the network partners.



January 2019 – December 2019


Ensuring that emergency vehicles can cross intersections quickly, safely and with minimal impact on road traffic, upgrade during running operation, tight time frame


Integration of Roadside Units; Add a prioritization program to the intersection; Installation and maintenance service


ACTROS Traffic Light Controller with C-ITS/V2X extension, Road Side Units (RSU) for each intersection, On Board Units (OBU) for each fire engine